Global Insight: Call for tougher stance on Gaza

New Zealand should urge the United States to stop supplying Israel with weapons for a conflict where war crimes are being committed, Prof Robert Patman says.

The foreign affairs specialist said New Zealand’s recent track record on Gaza was mixed.

The country had twice voted at the United Nations in support of cease-fires in the conflict between Israel’s military and Gaza-based Hamas fighters. But Prof Patman said New Zealand’s government should publicly call for a cessation to hostilities.

Smoke rises from damaged residential buildings following the Israeli attacks on Khan Yunis in...
Smoke rises from damaged residential buildings following the Israeli attacks on Khan Yunis in Gaza on Wednesday. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images
In addition, the coalition government should be asking the United States to reconsider arming Israel’s unequal war in Gaza, Prof Patman told Global Insight.

‘‘New Zealand should be saying to the United States: please think again about providing arms to Israel in a one-sided conflict in which large numbers of Palestinians are being killed, 23,000. And about 10,000 of those are children, who had nothing to do with the horrific events of the seventh of October.

‘‘So in other words, this is a disproportionate response. And it's not in the interest of liberal democracies - particularly when war crimes are being committed - to continue this current conflict.’’

Prof Patman made the comments on Global Insight while providing an international affairs forecast for this year. 

The University of Otago academic outlined how he thought the Ukraine-Russia war would develop; discussed the significance of coming elections in Taiwan and the United States; signalled the ongoing impact of globalisation and climate change; and pointed to an internal tension in the coalition government’s approach to the world’s two biggest super powers.